Marin Alsop Leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in the Centerpiece of the BSO’s 2013-2014 Season: Britten’s War Requiem, Nov. 14‐16

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Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) Music Director Marin Alsop leads the BSO and the University of Maryland Concert Choir in the centerpiece of the BSO’s 2013-2014 season, Britten’s War Requiem on Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 8 p.m. and Friday, November 15, 2013 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. The program also features soprano Tamara Wilson, tenor Nicolas Phan, bass-baritone Ryan McKinny and the Peabody Children’s Chorus; these performances celebrate the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth on November 22, 1913.

(October 10, 2013) – Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) Music Director Marin Alsop leads the BSO and the University of Maryland Concert Choir in the centerpiece of the BSO’s 2013-2014 season, Britten’s War Requiem on Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 8 p.m. and Friday, November 15, 2013 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. The program also features soprano Tamara Wilson, tenor Nicolas Phan, bass-baritone Ryan McKinny and the Peabody Children’s Chorus. These performances celebrate the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth on November 22, 1913. Please see below for complete program details.

Marin Alsop has gained acclaim for programming BSO seasons around themes of broad appeal. In the 2013-2014 season, the BSO explores music’s role as a source of solace. In addition to Britten’s War Requiem, three works during the season were specifically written to inspire hope: John Adams’ tribute to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks, On the Transmigration of Souls, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with its call for joy to unite all people in universal brotherhood, and Karen Tanaka’s Water of Life, a musical response to the devastating 2011 tsunami in her native Japan.

The centerpiece of this theme is Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. The 20th-century English composer knew music’s restorative power well: an outspoken pacifist, Britten’s harrowing, poignant War Requiem was commissioned to consecrate the rebuilt Coventry Cathedral, which had been destroyed by Nazi bombing in 1940 during World War II. Its text weaves the traditional Requiem liturgy with poetry by Wilfred Owen, a British soldier and accomplished poet killed in battle in the First World War.

“Music has the power to express the inexpressible. Some of my most memorable performing experiences have been in the wake of tragedy. When people are hurting and need comfort, music can be that refuge and can offer a glimmer of hope and solace,” said Music Director Marin Alsop. “Britten’s War Requiem premiered in the Coventry Cathedral in 1962 to christen a building that had to literally rise out of the ashes and be rebuilt. The World War II victims’ metaphorical ascent out of the ashes as they rebuilt their lives and remembered the many they lost is no less significant. This masterpiece is filled with inspiring moments, especially when the multitudes assembled onstage are playing and singing at full volume. But this complex work also has many tender and mournful moments that truly connect us, reminding us of what we share as members of the human race.”

ANCILLARY ACTIVITIES
The BSO will host several pre-concert events to enhance patrons’ understanding of and appreciation for this important work and the events it sought to memorialize:

  •     Lobby display curated by Rob Schoeberlein of the Maryland State Archives: From October 25th-November 16th, the Meyerhoff lobby will exhibit photos, letters and pamphlets from World War II. Included in the exhibit are select images from the collection of former Baltimore City mayor, Maryland governor and World War II veteran William Donald Schaefer. Rob Schoeberlein, Deputy City Archivist of the Maryland State Archives, will curate the collection.
  •     Pre-concert panel discussion, November 14th at 6:30 p.m.: Prior to the concert in the main concert hall of the Meyerhoff, the BSO will present a panel discussion that explores the topics of the roles Maryland and the United Kingdom played in World War II. Panelists are: Joe Balkoski, historian, 29th Infantry Division, U.S. Army, Rob Schoeberlein, Maryland State Archives and Mike Schneider, S.S. John W. Brown Liberty Ship , retired Captain in the U.S. Navy.
  •     Pre-concert panel discussion, November 16th at 6:30 p.m.: Prior to the concert in the main concert hall of the Music Center at Strathmore, the BSO and Levine School of Music will present a panel discussion that explores the topics of music, art and destruction. Panelists are Marin Alsop, Kerry Brougher, Interim Director and curator of the exhibition “Art & Destruction,” which opens on Oct. 25 at the Hirshhorn Museum, and Joel Friedman, music historian and moderator.
  •     Lesson Plans and Resources about World War II: The BSO, in collaboration with Maryland Public Television and the Enoch Pratt Free Library, have prepared a wealth of resources for middle and high school educators to connect students to WWII and Britten’s War Requiem in the classroom. Lesson plans can be found at bsokids.org.

Marin Alsop, conductor
Hailed as one of the world’s leading conductors for her artistic vision and commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. She also holds the title of conductor emeritus at the Bournemouth Symphony in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor from 2002-2008, and is music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California.

In 2005, Ms. Alsop was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first conductor ever to receive this prestigious award. In 2007, she was honored with a European Women of Achievement Award, in 2008 she was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2009 Musical America named her “Conductor of the Year.” In November 2010, she was inducted into the Classical Music Hall of Fame. In February 2011, Marin Alsop was named the music director of the Orquestra Sinfônica do estado de São Paulo (OSESP), or the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, effective for the 2012-13 season. Ms. Alsop was named to Guardian’s Top 100 Women list in March 2011. In the spring of 2011, Marin Alsop was named an Artist-in-Residence at the Southbank Centre in London, England.

A regular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ms. Alsop appears frequently as a guest conductor with the most distinguished orchestras around the world. In addition to her performance activities, she is also an active recording artist with award-winning cycles of Brahms, Barber and Dvořák.

Marin Alsop has led Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in several key outreach initiatives. In 2008, she partnered with the BSO to launch OrchKids™, a music education and life enrichment program for youth in West Baltimore. In 2010, she conducted the first “Rusty Musicians with the BSO” – an event that gave amateur musicians the chance to perform onstage with a professional symphony orchestra and quickly became a popular component of the BSO’s efforts to connect with the community. In June 2010, Maestra Alsop conducted the inaugural BSO Academy – an immersive summer music program that gives approximately 100 amateur adult musicians the opportunity to perform alongside a top professional orchestra.

Marin Alsop attended Yale University and received her master’s degree from The Juilliard School. In 1989, her conducting career was launched when she won the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize at Tanglewood where she studied with Leonard Bernstein.

Tamara Wilson, soprano
Tamara Wilson adds a new Verdi heroine to her repertoire when she returns to Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse as Lucrezia Contarini in Verdi’s I due Foscari in the 2013–2014 season. In celebration of the Verdi bicentenary, she will also debut at Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville as Aida and with Washington Concert Opera in his rarely-heard Il corsaro as Gulnara alongside tenor Michael Fabiano as Corrado. She will also be heard with James Conlon and the Colburn Orchestra as part of the Britten 100/LA celebration. Other concert engagements include Broch’s Moses with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and Verdi’s Messa da requiem with the Jacksonville Symphony. Future seasons will see her in the roles of Verdi, Bellini, Mozart and Strauss at the Oper Frankfurt, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Théâtre du Capitole, Teatro Real de Madrid, Los Angeles Opera and Houston Grand Opera.

On the concert stage, Wilson made her Carnegie Hall debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop in Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher, and has appeared with the Eugene Concert Choir in Britten’s War Requiem, Charlotte Symphony in Beethoven’s Missa solemnis and returned to the Oregon Bach Festival in Tippett’s A Child of Our Time.

An alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Wilson’s awards include the George London Award from the George London Foundation in which she was hailed for a “striking timbre all her own” (Opera News), as well as both a career grant in 2011 and study grant in 2008 from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.

Nicholas Phan, tenor
This season, American tenor Nicholas Phan returns to the New York City Opera as the title role in Endimione, and appears in concert with the Baltimore, St. Louis, Boston Baroque, Charlotte, Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo symphony orchestras. He will also be presented in recital by Spivey Hall and the Boston Celebrity series, and in Chicago, Rochester, Kalamazoo and Istanbul.

Mr. Phan has appeared with many of the leading orchestras in the United States and Europe, including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Les Violons du Roy, BBC Symphony Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra. He toured extensively throughout Europe with Il Complesso Barocco and appeared with the Edinburgh, Ravinia, Rheingau, Saint-Denis and Marlboro music festivals, and at the BBC Proms. He has also appeared in Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the National Arts Center in Ottawa and the Bolshoi. In recital, he has been presented by Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Chicago.

Mr. Phan’s most recent solo album, Still Fall the Rain (AVIE) was named one of the best classical recordings of 2012 by The New York Times. His first solo album, Winter Words (AVIE) was also critically acclaimed upon its release in 2011.

Ryan McKinny, bass-baritone
American bass-baritone Ryan McKinny has been praised for his “elegant and articulate” vocalism (O.C. Register), as well as a powerful voice that “drips with gold” (Opera News).

In the 2013–2014 season, McKinny returns to Houston Grand Opera for his role debut as the title role in Verdi’s Rigoletto and to the Metropolitan Opera as Theseus in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream under James Conlon. He will also be seen as Escamillo in Carmen and Donner in Das Rheingold, both at Houston Grand Opera. In concert, he will be heard in recital at Wolf Trap and Arizona Opera. In the summer of 2014, McKinny will sing Lyrisart in Weber’s Euryanthe at Bard SummerScape.

On the concert stage, McKinny recently sang the world premiere of Shostakovich’s uncompleted opera Orango under Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic with stage direction by Peter Sellars. He has also been heard with the Cleveland Orchestra and National Symphony in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9; Rossini’s Stabat Mater at the Grant Park Music Festival; Monterone in Rigoletto and Zuniga in Carmen with the LA Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”) at the Aspen Music Festival with Robert Spano. He has also performed the bass-baritone roles in Oedipus Rex for his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas and the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen in his final concerts as music director with staging by Peter Sellars. McKinny was heard in a special recital of Schubert’s Die Winterreise during the Sydney Festival, which was broadcast on ABC, Australia’s public radio and has been heard at the Aspen Music Festival for a recital recreated on a program originally performed by Jerome Hines in June 1949.

University of Maruland Concert Choir
The University of Maryland Concert Choir is composed of undergraduate and graduate students chosen by audition from throughout the College Park campus. Since 2003, the UMD Concert Choir has collaborated annually with the National Symphony Orchestra in repertoire such as Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Die Schöpfung by Haydn with Helmuth Rilling, Messiah with Matthew Halls, Bach’s Mass in b minor with Iván Fischer, and most recently, the Mozart “Requiem” under the baton of NSO Music Director, Christoph Eschenbach. Collaborations at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center with the UMD Symphony Orchestra have included the Verdi “Requiem”, Brahms’ “Ein Deutsches Requiem” Schumann’s “Das Paradies und die Peri” and the Mahler Symphony No. 2. Students in the choral ensembles at the University of Maryland School of Music perform a wide range of concerted and a cappella repertoire, ranging from Medieval chant and Renaissance polyphony to masterworks of the twentieth century and premieres of contemporary compositions.

Under the direction of Edward Maclary, University of Maryland choral ensembles have established an international reputation for excellence in performance. Over the past decade UMD choral ensembles have appeared by invitation on multiple occasions at the conventions of the Music Educators National Conference, the National Collegiate Choral Organization and the American Choral Directors Association and won numerous prizes in international competition. In 2011, the UMD Chamber Singers were awarded the Premier Prix for Mixed Choirs and the Prix Ronsard for Renaissance singing at the Florilège Vocal de Tours in France.

Peabody Children’s Chorus
The Peabody Children's Chorus, founded in 1989, is dedicated to providing age-appropriate vocal training for young people. The Chorus brings children together to rehearse and perform art and folk music of multiple cultures, languages, historical periods, and styles. In six ensembles rehearsing in Towson or Columbia, MD, young people gain invaluable experience making music in ensemble settings, and studying ear-training and music-reading.

400 children between the ages of six and 18 participate each year in three levels of training, rehearsing high quality treble music of advancing challenge and sophistication, and performing in public concert at least twice a year.

The Peabody Children’s Chorus has performed with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Concert Artists of Baltimore, Lyric Opera Baltimore, the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, the Morgan State University Choir, Peabody Conservatory’s Opera Theater, and the Peabody Symphony Orchestra. . During the 2009/10 season the Chorus performed in the Somerset International Youth Choral Festival in England and celebrated the release of the Naxos American Classics Grammy-nominated recording of Bernstein’s Mass, upon which it collaborated with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestra Marin Alsop. In 2011, the chorus performed at the Vatican, Rome and in St. Mark's Cathedral, Venice and with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall. In the summer of 2013, the Chorus was featured in the Dimanches Musicaux de La Madeleine Concert Series, Paris, performed at the American Cemetery in Normandy, and sang mass in Notre Dame Cathedral.

COMPLETE PROGRAM DETAILS
War Requiem
Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 8 p.m. – Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (JMSH)
Friday, November 15, 2013 at 8 p.m. – JMSH
Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 8 p.m. – The Music Center at Strathmore

Marin Alsop, conductor
Tamara Wilson, soprano
Nicholas Phan, tenor
Ryan McKinny, bass-baritone
University of Maryland Concert Choir
Peabody Children’s Chorus

Britten: War Requiem

Tickets range from $29 to $84 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 410.783.8000 or
BSOmusic.org. Military discounts are also available.

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